"I don't really like kids, but he has one so I have to cope. They are all vessels of energy and must be respected for that alone, but I don't like kids."
A few seconds prior to the start of this promising conversation, a car had flown past at such a high rate of speed that the gust it created blew Sam-dog's ears back. Then sirens, and the young, adorable police officer I see nearly every day nudged the demon over to the side of the road. He likes to gun the 'bwip bwip' siren even after he's stopped, and gets a little grin on his face before going into professional mode.
Instead of turning tail and heading home, I decided to keep to same direction. There was something out of the ordinary and utterly irresistible going on. A tall couple dressed in goth gear, the man nearly in tears, was standing about half a block north of the scene.
"What's up?" I asked.
"My ex refuses to honor our custody arrangement," said the man. "Her boyfriend beat me up yesterday for asking why, and my kid saw the whole thing."
His long, stringy hair was concealing most of the damage. He moved it aside for me so I could see the half dozen or so faint bruises. The mother's boyfriend was driving the get-away car, trying to leave the neighborhood without handing the child over to the forlorn father, and the father and his girlfriend were awaiting their turn with Officer Adorable.
"It was not at all good," added his girlfriend. "I don't like kids but it was not good."
I looked to the boyfriend for some sort of logical explanation, but all he did was smile in her direction. It was a smile of pity, worry, acceptance, grief and love. Thankfully, he'd begun to describe details of the nasty situation before my facial expression cemented into dumbfounded.
I asked if his ex was by any chance bipolar. It was out before I could stop it.
To my relief, he didn't appear at all offended by the question. He said, "Yes. She's very sick." I shared my story of my most recent ex and his battle with a bipolar baby-mama, and that's why I'd asked. The girlfriend bristled.
"I am bipolar. I have it under control. I am good with it." Her speech was halting, her movements were disjointed, she couldn't hold eye contact and it all started to make sense. I'd guess there was some autism up in that head of hers, too. Always one to over share, I told her I suffer from depression, but take my meds. My ex's ex did not, and drank, and without hesitation had decided to relinquish custody of their three children because she "...couldn't deal."
The girlfriend agreed this was unimaginable, then said, "I don't like kids." No matter how many times she said it, her boyfriend continued to smile his gentle smile and fumble with his stringy hair to cover his bruises. "They are good but not for me. I never want kids. He has one, though." Was that shame in his eyes?
Officer Adorable let the speeding baby-mama-boyfriend go, and U-turned toward us. I said, "Okay. Looks like he needs to talk to you. I hope things get resolved."
"Thank you for caring. You are nice," said the girlfriend. "You are nice," she said again. It started to rain, and she batted at the drops like they were a swarm of gnats.